Israel Appears Gearing Up for Ground
By Jad Mouawad and Steven Erlanger
The New York Times
Friday 21 July 2006
Beirut - Israel today called up reserve troops as it appeared to prepare for a ground offensive in southern Lebanon, warning residents to evacuate the border zone, as its jets continued their relentless pounding of the country from the air in the face of growing international condemnation over civilian casualties.
Thousands more foreigners continued to flee the country, which has been under an Israeli blockade since the conflict broke out last week.
A senior Israeli army officer told Maariv newspaper that Israel was gearing up for a ground assault.
"It's possible that in the coming days our ground operations will increase," Brigadier-General Alon Friedman told Maariv newspaper. "We have many forces, we will carry out a massive recruitment of reserves and it's possible that many more forces ... will reach the border in the next few days."